Safeco Auto Insurance Review 2022

Jun 2, 2022

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Our Take

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line:

Safeco auto policies offer some unique features, such as accident forgiveness.

Safeco Auto Insurance
Safeco
NAIC complaints
Fewer than expected
Ease of use
Above average
Discounts
Very few discounts

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Fewer than the expected number of customer complaints.

  • Offers accident forgiveness and diminishing deductible.

  • Many options to customize auto policies’ coverage.

Cons

  • Customer satisfaction ratings are below average for auto insurance claims.

Full Review

Safeco Insurance sells personal auto and other insurance products. Safeco’s parent company, Liberty Mutual, is an insurance giant — the sixth-largest auto insurance seller.

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Safeco auto insurance coverage

When you’re shopping for car insurance, it’s important to understand what car insurance coverage you want and what you’re required to buy. Most states require car insurance in order to drive a vehicle. Although minimum coverage requirements vary from state to state, they generally include liability insurance and uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.

If you want extra protection, you may be interested in full coverage insurance. Full coverage isn’t a specific policy type; it's a combination of coverage types, like liability, collision and comprehensive insurance.

Check out the most common types of car insurance coverage below to see how they work:

Coverage type

What it pays for

Required?

Bodily injury and property damage liability

Costs for injuries, deaths or property damage from an accident you caused.

Typically required.

Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage

Medical and property damage costs after an accident with a driver who has insufficient insurance or none at all.

Often required.

Collision coverage

Repair expenses from traffic-related accidents, regardless of who's at fault.

A car loan or lease may require it.

Comprehensive coverage

Repair costs from events outside of your control, including weather events, hitting an animal while driving, theft and vandalism.

A car loan or lease may require it.

While Safeco policies include these standard types of coverage, the company also offers these unusual features that set it apart from most insurers:

  • Accident forgiveness: After a certain number of years with no accidents or violations, Safeco won’t raise your rates after your first accident.

  • Claims-free cash back: Receive a check for 2.5% of your premium every six months if you don’t have any claims.

  • Diminishing deductible: If you don’t make a car insurance claim, Safeco will reduce your collision deductible each year, up to $500 or five years.

In addition, you can choose from several coverage options if they’re available in your state, including:

  • Rideshare coverage: If you drive for a company like Uber or Lyft, your personal policy is suspended while you use the app. Meanwhile, the ridesharing company’s insurance is limited between rides. New car replacement: If your car is totaled or stolen and is less than one year old with fewer than 15,000 miles, Safeco will pay to replace it with a comparable new car.

  • Rental car reimbursement: Pays for the cost of a rental car if your vehicle is being repaired after a covered accident.

  • Personal property coverage: Pays out if your belongings are damaged in an accident or stolen from your car. Typically, this is covered by renters or homeowners insurance if you have it.

  • Gap coverage: If your car is totaled or stolen, Safeco pays the difference between how much is left on your loan or lease and the value of your car.

  • Electronic key and lock replacement: Pays to replace lost or stolen electronic keys, remote control pads and locks, with no deductible.

  • CD and DVD replacement: Pays out when your audio-visual media such as DVDs, CDs and videotapes are damaged or stolen.

  • Custom equipment coverage: Protects equipment that was not installed at the factory or dealership, including permanently installed audiovisual equipment, a modified or custom engine, roll bars, custom wheels, murals and decals.

  • Pet coverage: Pays for veterinary expenses or a death benefit if your cat or dog is injured or dies in a collision.

Auto insurance discounts

  • Multipolicy (bundling) discount.

  • Safe driver discount.

  • Accident prevention course discount.

  • Discount if your vehicle has safety features.

Pricing based on tracked driving habits

In some states, you can get a discount for allowing Safeco to monitor your driving for a 90-day period through the RightTrack app. The program tracks behaviors such as hard braking, acceleration, nighttime driving and total miles driven. A discount is guaranteed just for completing the program, and drivers can potentially save more based on driving behavior.

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Auto insurance buying guide

Before you compare car insurance companies, you’ll need to collect some basic information. This includes the driving history of everyone who will be on the policy, as well as facts about your car, such as safety features and annual mileage driven. You’ll also want to determine which types of coverage you need. For example, do you want only the bare minimum insurance that your state requires, or do you need more extensive coverage, such as gap insurance or rideshare coverage? Check that each company you’re considering has the options you want.

When comparing rates among insurers, make sure each is offering the same coverage limits and deductibles. You may not want to make your decision based on price alone. Look at how many consumer complaints each company has, as a high number of complaints could be a red flag about the quality of service you'll receive.

Depending on which company you choose, you may be able to buy insurance online, over the phone or through an agent. For more guidance, see how to get car insurance.

Complaints and customer satisfaction

Safeco had fewer than the expected number of complaints about auto insurance to state regulators relative to its size, according to three years’ worth of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Safeco ranked in the middle of the pack for auto insurance according to J.D. Power’s 2021 customer satisfaction studies.

2021 J.D. Power study

Safeco ranking

Auto insurance shopping

No. 7 of 12 companies.

Auto insurance claims satisfaction

No. 12 of 18 companies.

More about Safeco auto insurance 

Website: Safeco’s site is easy to navigate and lets you track a claim, get a quote, pay your bill and view or download policy documents. If you prefer the personal touch of an agent, you can find one via the Safeco website.

Mobile app: Safeco’s app lets you log in and manage your policy, pay bills, check the status of a claim and more.

Homeowners insurance from Safeco

Safeco offers standard homeowners insurance coverage, along with additional options. To learn more, read our Safeco home insurance review.

Other insurance from Safeco 

Other insurance products available from Safeco:

  • Motorcycle insurance.

  • Umbrella insurance.

  • Landlord protection insurance.

  • Condo insurance.

  • RV insurance.

  • Boat and watercraft insurance.

  • Classic car insurance.

  • ATV insurance.

  • Snowmobile insurance.

  • Golf cart insurance.

Pet insurance is also available through the Hartville Pet Insurance Program.

Methodology

Auto insurance ratings

NerdWallet’s auto insurance ratings reward companies for customer-first features and practices. Ratings are based on weighted averages of scores in several categories, including financial strength, consumer complaints and discounts. Our “ease of use” category looks at factors such as website transparency and how easy it is to file a claim. Using our editorial discretion, we also consider customer satisfaction surveys. These ratings are a guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare several insurance quotes to find the best rate for you. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.

Insurer complaints

NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2018-2020. To assess how insurers compare to one another, the NAIC calculates a complaint index each year for each subsidiary, measuring its share of total complaints relative to its size, or share of total premiums in the industry. To evaluate a company’s complaint history, NerdWallet calculated a similar index for each insurer, weighted by market shares of each subsidiary, over the three-year period. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.

Frequently asked questions